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Exudation

— This is probably the tree referred to by Mitchell, in the following passage:

In the ground beyond the plains (near the Darling) . . . . and an Acacia, with a white stem, and spotted bark, there grows to a considerable size, and produces much gum. Indeed, gum acacia abounds in these scrubs, and when the country is more accessible, may become an article of commerce. — (Three Expeditions, 1. 201)

For an account of the gum arabic from this tree. one of our best soluble gums, see the following paper.note Dr. Lauterer also gives an analysis of this gum.

During the summer months large masses, of a clear amber colour, exude from the stem and branches. It makes good adhesive mucilage, has a splendid taste, and is eaten by the aborigines. It is commonly used by bushmen as a remedy in diarrhoea.




  ― 215 ―

Two samples have been examined by me, and the following is an account of them. In view of the scarcity of good gum-arabic, it would be a useful addition to our raw products if abundant supplies of it could be obtained. I have not heard of a gum being yielded by any other Australian species of Flindersia in quantity.

Sample I. — From between the Lachlan and Darling Rivers, N.S.W. A most valuable gum. It is in pieces as large.as pigeons' eggs, and I have seen a piece half as large as an emu egg, clear and of excellent quality, with only a small portion of bark at the place of attachment to the tree. In parts of the interior it is said to be fairly abundant. In some cases it remains in the liquid state on the trees fox. some little time before hardening, or else exudes very rapidly, for it is frequently brought to Sydney in pieces as long as an ordinary earthworm, and of the same average diameter.

It dissolves readily and completely in cold water. It hardly appears to affect the transparency and absence of colour of pure water. In this respect it may be ranked very closely to picked Turkey gum-arabic. It possesses the faint cloudiness which an aqueous solution of gum-arabic soon assumes.

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